Attitudes

Why should a Christian practice “being present”?

Posted on

For some Christians, practicing being present sounds too other religion-y, too “out-there”, too vague. To Christians who love the “go” of the gospel, who find purpose in a mission, and joy in activity, being told to “be present” is too inactive, even a trap of the devil to stop the forward motion of the kingdom. Aren’t we supposed to be looking forward to Jesus’ coming and the full expression of his kingdom? Yes, we are. Aren’t we supposed to turn from our old selves? Yes, we are. But these are not the only aspects of following Jesus. We follow him today, too. So, why is […]

Attitudes

On Being Present Today (When You’d Rather Be in Yesterday or Tomorrow)

Posted on

I am currently in a temporal vortex of sorts having just returned from a fantastic, fulfilling mission trip that lingers in my happy memories and draws me back from today, yet driven forward by the hope and plans of the future that require a time investment today. So here I sit in the heart of the year, in the heat of today sandwiched between two mountains gazing at their tantalizingly cold and clear summits. In the hazy swirl of the valley lies my today, the heavy traffic of an eight-member household, a job, hobbies, and responsibilities all bustling about me, confusing me with their incessant […]

Uncategorized

Courage to Keep Going

Posted on

Do you have difficulty pushing yourself to try something because you feel self-conscious, or afraid people will either ignore you, make fun of you, or criticize you? Nearly every time I put something on my blog, on social media, invite people over, or want to meet someone, I run into this familiar resistance. Most of the time it’s mild enough I can ride over it like a bump in my path, but sometimes I don’t. For the last couple of weeks, I have been hearing of others who are making the choice, and asking for prayers, to push past these feelings that hold us back. […]

Attitudes

Courage Amid Worries

Posted on

Four a.m. is a sly hour. Sometimes I can slide past it in oblivion, other times it wakes in my sub-conscious as a bright new dawn, a photo-bomber of my picture perfect slumber. Last night, it shed its camouflage, and grinned widely at me, enjoying the time to toy with my mind. This is the hour that is raw; the vulnerable, naked time. It is as if all the swaddling comes off my psyche, and I’m left in the crib flailing and wailing (if awake), or completely at peace (if asleep). Honestly, this hour intimidates me. Last night was one of those unpleasant rousings where […]

Attitudes

Courage Gains Strength in Stillness

Posted on

Nascent courage feels much like a sprig of hope, slenderly strong in the cold earth rising to the call of the white light above. Fragile, yet powerful, in its miniscule multiplication, cell upon cell of mitochondrial factories. Scoff not at the small beginning. Trample not the greening of an idea under the solstice of God. He rises, like the sun, for just such a reason. He bends his power, as the sun sends its rays, to this greening earth to call forth these courageous beginnings. Sometimes a seed lies long in the dark earth, then someone “happens” to kick a clod away, just enough to […]

Attitudes

Being Hospitable is Central to Following Jesus

Posted on

Being hospitable is all about making space, a push to the jumble of our commitments, a pull of invitation for someone to enter despite the topsy-turvy evidence of messy, beautiful lives. Whether having someone come to my place or meeting someone elsewhere, if you are like me, you have a mental, maybe physical, closet stash of hustled miscellany out of sight. These thoughts tumble into my mental space frequently, like ubiquitous dust bunnies floating about the space. Mental dustpan in hand, I sweep these distractions up again so that I can direct my attention to my friend. This making space – temporal, mental and physical […]

Attitudes

Recovering a Hospitable Heart

Posted on

The reason I chose the word “hospitable” for April’s focus, and not “hospitality,” is that I wanted to focus on being, not doing. We are hospitable; we practice or do hospitality. Hospitable is the intention and attitude, whereas hospitality is the action that springs from the intention. However, we frequently start with good intentions, but as we carry out the multitude of actions, we often end exasperated and empty. As with many things, we become good at the executions and tasks required and lose the heart and intention of it. Are you excellent, or strive to be excellent, at all the little things to welcome […]

Attitudes

Be Hospitable to Your Own Soul

Posted on

This is for the caretakers, the ones who always volunteer, the ones who say, “Someone has to do it, so I guess I will.” This is for the weary leader so busy caring for others that her own needs groan into a stifled discomfort and disillusionment. This is for the one always bending to accommodate another’s dilemmas, demands, or desires. The one who others count on to be hospitable, always. Is there space at your table for you? Do you find it easier to see how Jesus loves the other, but not so easy to see how he cares for you? Does it feel luxurious, […]

Attitudes

Moses: A Lesson in Humility

Posted on

When I asked my daughter what “humility” meant to her, she said “It’s when you fart in class!” via GIPHY Like her, I think many people confuse humility with humiliation. But humility is something you practice voluntarily. Humiliation is often something done to you, a deeply embarrassing event, not an attitude. Humility is a result of grace, whereas humiliation is a result of shaming. Take a look at the Old Testament with me. It is peppered with exhortations like these: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear […]

Attitudes

Humility Brings Abundance

Posted on

Abundant life comes, paradoxically, through humility, not through “to do” lists. Among other descriptions, humility is realizing and accepting you can’t do it all. It is simply recognizing that you are a created being under God, that God is great and giving. It is not putting yourself down, or being a doormat for others. Most picture humility as a person kneeling and bowing, which is something we do only to those in great authority. Thus, we are focusing on who, not what or how, when we practice humility. As we bow to God and not our accomplishments, He gives us life. This morning I had […]